This week's Agent Spotlight features Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary Inc.
About: "With five years' experience in children's publishing, Michelle Andelman joined Regal Literary in 2010. She previously advised foreign publishers as a scout and got her start as an agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency, where she worked with debut talent such as Lauren Strasnick, Dia Reeves, and Emily Horner. Michelle handles all categories of children's books, representing authors of middle-grade and Young Adult fiction, and author-illustrators of picture books and graphic novels. Her magnets are elegant, quirky voices, emotionally driven plots, and settings richly evoked or imagined. Michelle is a graduate of the Dramatic Writing Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, and the master's program in English and American literature at NYU." (Link)
Status: Open to submissions.
What She's Looking For:
From her Bio:
"Michelle handles all categories of children's books, representing authors of middle-grade and Young Adult fiction, and author-illustrators of picture books and graphic novels. Her magnets are elegant, quirky voices, emotionally driven plots, and settings richly evoked or imagined." (Link)
From an Interview (01/2009):
"I like my middle-grade quirky and charming, and my YA daring and emotionally driven, whether fantastic or realistic. I am on the lookout for innovative storytelling, fresh genre crossings with YA romance -- dystopian YA romance, for example, or YA horror with a core love story, and coming of age memoir." (Link)
From an Interview (08/2007):
"[She has an] interest in fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, adventure, romance, graphic novel, and serious literary projects. She's drawn to high-concept, commercial tween and teen lit if it's edgy, gritty, and daring or all sweetness and light. Stylized but authentic voices, magical realism, Jewish themes, interesting story structure, freak and geek protagonists, identifiable quests, and fully realized storyworlds always catch her eye." (Link)
About the Agency:
"Regal Literary Inc., a full-service agency with offices in New York and London, was founded in 2002. [...] We are deeply committed to every aspect of our clients' careers, and are engaged in everything from the editorial work of developing a great book proposal or line editing a fiction manuscript to negotiating state-of-the-art book deals and working to promote and publicize the book when it's published. We are at the forefront of the effort to increase authors' rights in publishing contracts in a rapidly changing commercial environment." See the website for more info.
"I don't like an opening line that's 'My name is...,' introducing the narrator to the reader so blatantly. I might be prompted to groan before reading on a bit further to see if the narration gets any less stale. There are far better ways in Chapter 1 to establish an instant connection between narrator and reader. I’m also usually not a fan of prologues, preferring to find myself in the midst of a moving plot on page 1 rather than being kept outside of it, or eased into it." (Link)
Her Advice for Writers:
"My best one word of advice: professionalize. A new writer who has done her homework on the children's market ahead of time, and submits to agents in a way that suggests a professional approach to a writing career, is going to stand out. Professionalizing may mean doing a few different things that make all the difference: joining a critique group that can help you polish your manuscript before you query, researching and approaching agents according to submission guidelines, crafting a query that aims to pique interest in—rather than fully explain—your project, and joining the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI)." (Link)
Yes. The entire agency appears to be editorial. I also have the following quote from an old bio:
"She prides herself on being an agent who can be as strong on editorial as on advocacy for her clients, and she remains committed to working with debut novelists and bringing new voices to market."
Regal Literary has a list of clients available on the website.
As of 08/2010, Ms. Andelman is listed on Publisher's Marketplace as having made 1 deal in the last 12 months. Recent sales include 1 young adult.
NOTE: PM is usually not a complete representation of sales.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
"Submissions should consist of a one-page query letter detailing the book in question as well as the qualifications of the author. For fiction, submissions may also include the first ten pages of the novel or one short story from a collection." Include a SASE for response. (Link)
See the Regal Literary website for complete up-to-date submission guidelines.
The Guide to Literary Agents blog shared some of Ms. Andelman's query tips here.
Due to the recent switch in agencies, Ms. Andelman's current response times are unknown.
What's the Buzz?
Though Michelle Andelman has made two agency switches in the last few years, she seems to be well respected and good at what she does (I've heard repeatedly she has an excellent editorial eye!). She's developing a great list of clients and sales, and her clients really seem to love her (check out the appreciation posts linked below!). Even clients she represented at Andrea Brown still speak warmly of her. Follow her on Twitter for additional insight.
Worth Your Time:
Interview with Michelle Andelman on Editors, Agents, and Blogs, Oh My! (06/2009).
Agent Advice Interview with Michelle Andelman on the Guide to Literary Agents blog (08/2007).
Around the Web:
Live Industry Professional Panel with Michelle Andelman, Molly O'Neill, and Kate Testerman at WriteOnCon - Press "Replay" (08/2010).
Query Series: Kirsten Hubbard & Michelle Andelman at YA Highway.
Query Series: Kristin Otts & Michelle Andelman at YA Highway.
NYC Publishing Tips: The MOVIE at YA Highway featuring Michelle Andelman and others(02/2010).
Query Writing Tips by Michelle Andelman on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog (03/2008).
Regal Literary thread on AbsoluteWrite.
Please see the Regal Literary website for contact and query information.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail.com
Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.